Medicines are often used to relieve the
symptoms and prevent complications of
mitral valve stenosis. Usually they are also
prescribed after you have surgery to repair or replace your mitral
Medicines to treat symptoms include:
Diuretics ("water pills") are usually prescribed to reduce fluid retention and
related swelling. They may also lower blood pressure in the upper left heart
chamber (left atrium) and relieve breathing difficulties.
Medicines are used to treat complications. Complications
Infections. If you have an
artificial valve, you may need to take
antibiotics before you have certain
dental or surgical procedures. The antibiotics help
prevent an infection in your heart called
endocarditis. You will likely take antibiotics
after surgery to repair or replace a valve. If you
have had rheumatic fever, you may take antibiotics to avoid getting it again.
Blood clots.Anticoagulants (also called blood thinners), such as warfarin, can
lower your risk of stroke by preventing the formation of potentially
harmful blood clots. Anticoagulants are needed after surgery that repairs or
replaces a valve. If you take an anticoagulant, you need to take extra steps to avoid bleeding problems, such as preventing falls and injuries. If you take warfarin, you also get regular blood tests and watch how much vitamin K you eat or drink. For more information about safety with warfarin, see:
Heart failure. Diuretics, angiotensin-converting
enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) help lower
blood pressure, reduce fluid buildup in the lungs, and therefore ease strain on
the heart. Digoxin is used to slow a rapid and irregular heartbeat. It also
increases the heart's ability to contract, which can increase cardiac output.
Used with caution,
beta-blockers may be given to ease the heart's
workload by reducing the amount of blood the heart needs and by slowing the
heart rate, which allows more time for blood to pass through the narrowed
What to think about
Talk with your doctor about
the need for medicine. If you have used the now-banned, weight-loss medicine
fen-phen, there may be specific concerns about your heart valves.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
February 10, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this